Which evening primrose oils are best?
Evening primrose oil has long been used as a herbal remedy for conditions such as premenstrual syndrome, nerve pain and acne. While studies over the years have found varied results, some people still swear by it as a safe, natural substance that won’t do you any harm.
The best evening primrose oil for you will depend on what you need it for. If you want quality high-strength capsules, OmniBiotics Organic Evening Primrose Oil is the top choice.
What to know before you buy evening primrose oil
Capsules vs. liquid
Evening primrose oil comes in capsules or in liquid form. If you intend to take your evening primrose oil orally, capsules are generally the best option because the oil is contained within the tablet so you don’t have to taste it. What’s more, it’s already portioned out into the correct dosage, so there’s no need to worry about accidentally taking too little or too much.
Bottles of liquid evening primrose oil are a great option if you want to use evening primrose oil topically for issues such as acne or eczema or for its general moisturizing properties. You can use evening primrose oil on your skin undiluted, which is the best choice for medicinal uses. Alternatively, if you simply want a moisturizing boost, you can mix it with other oils and plant butters — such as shea butter or cocoa butter — in homemade skincare products. However, if your chosen liquid evening primrose oil is listed as therapeutic grade, it’s only suitable for topical use, while food-grade evening primrose oil can be used topically or taken orally.
Strength and dosage
If you buy evening primrose oil in capsules, it will list the strength per dose in milligrams. Most have strengths of between 500-1,500 milligrams per dose. It’s best to start at a dose of around 500 milligrams and work your way up if you don’t notice the effects. Some people safely take as much as 6,000 milligrams per day.
Servings per pack
You might think that the number of servings per pack is the same as the number of capsules per pack, but this isn’t always the case. Also consider how many capsules a serving is, as this can sometimes be misleading. The listed dose can be made up of 2-4 capsules in some cases, so you get fewer servings than capsules.
What to look for in quality evening primrose oil
Some capsules contain gelatin from animal sources, but this makes them unsuitable for vegetarians and vegans and potentially those who follow kosher or halal diets. However, you can find gelatin-free capsules, which get around this issue.
If you prefer to stick to an organic diet, you can find plenty of evening primrose oil supplements that are USDA-certified organic.
Good manufacturing practice certification
Supplements that are GMP-certified have been independently verified to meet certain manufacturing standards. This means you can be sure your supplements are produced in a sanitary way and that the laboratory and testing methods are up to scratch.
How much you can expect to spend on evening primrose oil
You can spend anywhere between $10-$50 on evening primrose oil, depending on the package size, potency and overall quality.
Evening primrose oil FAQ
Is it OK to take evening primrose oil every day?
A. Evening primrose oil is probably safe for regular use by adults, according to the National Institutes of Health. The term “probably” might sound worrying, but all this means is that science doesn’t tend to deal in absolutes. No studies have found any ill effects from evening primrose oil and it’s generally well-tolerated with few side effects. Some users find they suffer from gastrointestinal issues when taking evening primrose oil, such as bloating and stomach upset. If you experience these issues, you may wish to discontinue use.
Who shouldn’t take evening primrose oil?
A. According to the Mayo Clinic, people with bleeding disorders or who are due to have surgery within the next two weeks shouldn’t take evening primrose oil. Its safety in children and pregnant people isn’t determined, so it’s best to avoid using it in these cases. It can also increase the risk of seizures in people with epilepsy and it interacts with a small handful of drugs, including lopinavir and ritonavir taken to treat HIV. If you’re taking any medication, check with your doctor or look online to make sure evening primrose oil doesn’t interact with it.
What are the best evening primrose oils to buy?
Top evening primrose oil
What you need to know: These high-quality evening primrose capsules contain a high dose of cold-pressed evening primrose oil.
What you’ll love: Each serving contains 1,500 milligrams of evening primrose oil, including 150 milligrams of the omega-6 fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid. The capsules are gelatin-free, so they’re suitable for people with a range of dietary requirements. You get 120 capsules in a pack.
What you should consider: One serving is two capsules, so you get fewer servings than you might first imagine.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top evening primrose oil for the money
What you need to know: These capsules are affordable yet high-quality, offering excellent value for money.
What you’ll love: Each capsule contains 1,000 milligrams of evening primrose oil, including 90 milligrams of GLA. The capsules are gelatin-free and the oil is cold-pressed and unrefined. The company is GMP certified.
What you should consider: The capsules are fairly large, though they’re soft, which makes swallowing them easier.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Food-grade evening primrose oil in liquid form for oral or topical use.
What you’ll love: This evening primrose oil is USDA certified organic, cold-pressed and contains 10% GLA. When taken orally, you can tailor your own dose or you can use it topically neat or mixed into homemade skincare products.
What you should consider: Some people don’t like the flavor and would prefer to take it in capsule form for this reason.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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